Google+

Changing the Game DVD Review

Changing the Game 89691_gal
DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Ghetto Serves as Setting for Coming-of-Age Saga of Shakespearean Proportions

Darrell Barnes (Sean Riggs) was dealt a horrible hand as a baby, having been abandoned by his mother after his father was shot dead on the rough streets of North Philly. At least he was lucky enough to be taken in by his paternal grandmother (Irma P. Hall), a Bible-quoting Christian who did her best to insulate the boy from the host of evils permeating their crime-infested neighborhood.

Heeding her admonition to trust in the Lord, Darrell stuck to the straight and narrow as a child. He did his best to keep out of trouble, excelling in school, where he cut a sharp contrast to his best friend, Dre (Dennis L.A. White), a clueless victim of social promotion allowed to slip through the academic cracks at an early age.

So, it’s no surprise that juvenile delinquent Dre would eventually drop out to become a drug kingpin, and rationalize operating such a reprehensible enterprise by liberally quoting misanthropic lines from Machiavelli like, “Kill enemies before they kill you.” Meanwhile, Darrell did good and Grandma Barnes proud by gaining admission to the prestigious Wharton Business School.

In most coming-of-age sagas, the empathetic underdog’s making his way out of the ghetto would herald a proverbial “happily ever after” ending. But in the more nuanced and multilayered world of Changing the Game, directed by Rel Dowdell, entre to the Ivy League merely signals the start of a new set of challenges to be faced by this naive inner-city refugee.

After graduating, as warned by his wise, rapidly-expiring grandma, Darrell finds himself still tempted by the Devil and having to negotiate his way through a different gauntlet of wickedness. With both Jesus and Machiavelli’s teachings competing for control of his mind, he goes into business with a corrupt classmate (Brandon Ruckdashel) against his better judgment.

The tension builds as Darrell lets greed get the better of him to a point of no return where it’s gonna take a miracle for the ambitious brother to escape with his soul intact. Touching on a litany of timely themes, this modern morality play of Shakespearean proportions packs an emotional punch while sending a sobering message about what really matters most.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for sexuality, nudity, violence, ethnic slurs, drug use and pervasive profanity.
Running time: 103 minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Stills gallery.

To see a trailer for Changing the Game, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMxR9DZ-suM

To order a copy of Changing the Game on DVD, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B008A6QBUO/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Entertainment

For movies opening January 13, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening January 13, 2017   BIG BUDGET FILMS The Bye Bye Man (PG-13 for terror, violence, sexuality, bloody images, mature themes, profanity, partial nudity and underage alcohol abuse) Haunted house horror flick about a diabolical, supernatural demon (Doug Jones) unwittingly unleashed by a trio of college students (Douglas … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back

  In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back by Amy Lignor   Readers, 2017 has arrived. And the one thing that rises above all the other so-called ‘trends’ that publishers and book lovers are looking forward to seeing this year is one, undeniable and exciting fact: Beloved authors will step back into the limelight. Trends are odd. There are those of us who never assumed that the whole utopian word as well as dystopian … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Groundswell for Chazelle!

  Damien Chazelle The “La La Land” Interview with Kam Williams Groundswell for Chazelle! Damien Chazelle wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning Whiplash which landed five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Chazelle. The movie won a trio of Oscars in the Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons) categories. In 2013, his short film of the same name won the Short Film … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Top Five Florida Resorts Catering to Do it Yourself Boaters

  Top Five Florida Resorts Catering to Do it Yourself Boaters By Ted Lund Summertime is adventure time for families that want to boat and fish together, and there is no better way to do that than find a resort that caters to do it yourself boaters and anglers. And no place has options like Florida. But before the family can set sail for adventure, you need to find the right boat. One of the best on the water is the Sea Chaser Hybrid Fish … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The NFL Looks at David vs. Goliath

  The NFL Looks at David vs. Goliath by Amy Lignor   This has been one of those odd football seasons where the facts given at the beginning by those panels of “experts” that “know” a great deal about America’s favorite game, turned out to be more than a little wrong. What’s the strangest thing that just might happen when it comes to the Super Bowl? Easy to answer. It just might be that for the first time a QB who didn’t actually play for … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Spotlight on Africa

  Spotlight on Africa by Amy Lignor   As the year winds down and comes to a close, it is Africa that is receiving some headlines that call for many changes and improvements to be made in the coming years. It was Ambassador Amina Mohamed (Nairobi, Kenya) that spoke recently about the African Union Commission (AUC) and how the group must provide leadership in the coming years. After all, the nation of Africa is, in truth, the cradle … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

    The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World by Amy Lignor   Oh, yes…there are many, many places to travel in order to ring in that New Year in style. Some people have already stated that they see 2017 becoming one of the ‘best of the best’ years the world has ever seen – from technology to business to education to even “going greener” – heck, green has even been chosen as the top color of 2017. But where should you … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

2017 Will Be Green!

    2017 Will Be Green! by Amy Lignor   This statement is not a “hopeful” imagination talking; it is actually quite true. Very recently the Pantone Color Institute declared that green will most definitely be THE color for 2017. This is a company that calls themselves the “global color authority,” and states that everything from high fashion to trends will be on the green path throughout next year. So…when we look at a “green” … [Read More its Good for You...]